Labor Notes #423

Workers are using Facebook to talk to each other about what happens on the job and in the union, and some are even using it to organize for change.

Walmart workers trade advice and stories on the “Organization United for Respect” page, which has 47,000 “likes.” Boeing Machinists opposed to a proposed contract linked up through “Rosie’s Machinists 751.” And many union reformers set up Facebook pages when they are running for office.

Politicians want to turn the clock back 50 years by restricting bargaining rights. Unions would do well to look back, too, to the great upsurge of the 1960s.

Chicago’s Black students are sitting in a front-row seat for the devastating policy of privatizing our schools.

Black students and Black educators have shouldered the weight of nearly 20 years of school closings, as many of our neighborhoods turn into “school deserts,” with no traditional neighborhood schools left.

Following the lead of tiny Vermont, advocates of Medicare for All are developing state campaigns to win health care that eliminates insurance companies and covers everyone.

Beginning in 2017, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, allows the federal government to grant a waiver to any state that wants to introduce “innovations”—provided the coverage is at least as comprehensive, extensive, and affordable as coverage under the ACA.

Since a “single-payer”-style state system would easily meet those criteria, activists are hoping for a path forward state by state.

The Social Security Administration’s “Vision 2025” would close most of the agency's 1,000 community field offices in the U.S., laying off 30,000 of the workers who help beneficiaries navigate the system.

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